Stephen Morgan, (pictured) who collided with another car and gave the driver false details before ‘bombarding’ her with text messages, failed to attend for his trial.
The trial went ahead in his absence and a jury convicted 24-year-old Morgan of aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and perverting the course of justice.
He also failed to attend court for his sentencing hearing when a judge jailed Morgan for 18 months and banned him from driving for three years.
The jury was told Morgan’s ex-partner Collette Hall travelled with their two young children from Blackpool to Morgan’s parents home on Marchant Way, Churwell, Morley, on May 12 2014 so Morgan and his parents could see the children.
The court heard Miss Hall left the keys for the new disability car on top of the microwave in the kitchen and spent the day in the garden with the children and Morgan’s parents.
Morgan, who had been banned from driving in 2013, took the keys from the kitchen and drove the car away.
The jury was told Jessica Naylor was on her way to give makeup lessons to cancer sufferers when Morgan drove into the back of her car.
Jessica Naylor suffered whiplash injuries and had to undergo a six-week course of physiotherapy sessions.
The jury was told Morgan gave Miss Naylor a document after the collision, which contained a false name.
Recorder Caroline Wigin said: “He bombarded her (Miss Naylor) with nearly 80 texts over the next few days. It was clear he intended, if he could, to form a relationship with this young lady, who had the misfortune to be collided into by him. She rejected his intentions.”
Jailing Morgan for 18 months, Recorder Wigin said: “The sentence is with immediate effect but he must be brought back to the court under the bench warrant.”
Morgan, of no fixed abode, has 29 previous convictions for 49 offences, including dangerous driving.